Coffeehouse-chain workers will have access to mental-health resources and be compensated for any scheduled shifts they miss because of the COVID-19 virus, executive vice president Rossann Williams wrote in a letter to employees on Wednesday.
The notice comes just days after a Starbucks employee in Seattle tested positive for the virus, marking the first confirmed case of the illness in the company's workforce.
“You have our full support," Williams wrote in the letter, "including access to catastrophe pay, benefits that support your physical and mental health, as well as a network of partners who are all here to help,”
Public health officials are struggling to contain the outbreak, which has infected at least 118,162 people and killed 4,290.
"Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and since last year, we’ve talked about our commitment to ensuring you always have access to quality mental health care and resources," the letter reads.
Employees have access to benefits such as the CUP Fund, which was started for workers facing unexpected financial hardships, and the Employee Assistance Program, which offers free counseling to workers and members of their household.
Starbucks has also added a subscription to the meditation app Headspace, a direct response to the statistic that one in five adults experience mental illness each year.
"Here at Starbucks, you should never have to choose between work and taking care of yourself,” Williams added.
To combat fears of transmission, Starbucks continues to implement precautionary measures, a move mimicked by other retailers trying to keep business thriving as typical customers grow increasingly worried about catching the virus.